Lilly King became an American star this week when she spoke out against athletes who were allowed to compete after testing positive for banned substances. It was refreshing to see an athlete with the spine and conviction needed to take a stand on the world stage.
If they made some uncomfortable, oh well. Too many athletes these days are afraid to say anything meaningful because, heaven forbid, their opinions offend others. More athletes should embrace free speech and share their feelings, like Muhammad Ali did. Their true sentiments are better than the nonstop blather that’s concocted by PR machines.
King believed athletes who tested positive for PEDs should have been banned from the Olympics. It was in reference to Russian rival Yulia Efimova, the convicted cheat King beat in the 100-meter breaststroke. King didn’t hide when asked if her opinion also applied to U.S. athletes, namely sprinters Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay.
“Do I think people who have been caught doping should be on the team? They shouldn’t,” King said. Whether you agreed with her or not – and I do – she deserved credit for standing up for her beliefs. She can sleep peacefully with her integrity intact and gold medal under her pillow.